Blackhawk Carving Club
Rockford, Illinois 61109
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The Blackhawk Woodcarver

P. O. Box 8285 Rockford, IL 61126
Open Carving every Wednesday (
12:00 to 3:00pm).  Ken Rock Community Center, 3218 Eleventh St, Rockford, IL 61109
Business Meeting; third Wednesday of the month. Friends and spouses of carvers are  welcome to come to meet and visit. Carvers bring in finished carvings for “Show & Tell.”

Weekly Carving Session Time Changed!

Our weekly carving session meeting time has been changed from our Wednesday morning time period to Wednesday early afternoon, noon to 3:00 pm. This was done in an effort to cooperate with Ken-Rock and to eliminate or minimize the problem we have experienced with unexpected building availability. Ken-Rock has found it unsustainable to continue to open and staff the building in the mornings during the Winter, and even the Spring and Fall periods, when they have no other reason than to open and man the building for our club. The new Ken-Rock policy will be to open the building by noon on weekdays. The “bad weather” or “snow day” closings will continue to follow the Rockford Public School 205 closings.

Tyrone Johnsen


The Presidents Report March 2019

Carving or whittling is enjoyable! What it means to one, means something else to another. Carving is a hobby to most of us  It is a form of relaxation and an expression of creativity or art. Our carvings represent many hours of our time and work. If I were to consider going into the business of selling my carvings, it would be a very poor plan. My hourly financial return would probably yield only a few cents! Losing money is a more likely result and I would starve! So the process of carving for me is for enjoyment, the satisfaction of completion, and the elation resulting from praise by others.

We are all individuals; and that makes belonging to the club more interesting. Experiences and opinions abound! We all have different points of view, even on the exact same experience. I am interested in trying to understand the other person’s point of view. Each week it is interesting to see what the others are working on. I love to see what idea each person is pursuing. Every idea or point of view is also a sort of reflection of their unique personality. Many of their different subjects and the focus of their carvings pleasantly surprise me!

Our club name includes Woodcarvers. But we are more than that. I see the carving of gourds and other materials. Our Bob Coleman is a great example of the diversity in carving which occurs in our club. Bob not only carves from limbs and blocks but he also turns dead trees into carved works of art. Sometimes his caricatures are carved into golf balls. Recently he carved a colorful skull out of a bonded set of color pencils. Wood carving it was! And, truly enjoyable to see a different point of view!

Tyrone Johnsen

 Club Activity Schedule

March 6 open carving
March 13 open carving
March 20 open carving and meeting
March 27 open carving

April 3 open carving
April 10 open carving
April 17 open carving and meeting
April 24 open carving

May 1 open carving
May 8 open carving
May15 open carving and meeting
May 22 open carving
May 29 open carving

June 5 open carving
June 12 open carving
June 19 open carving and meeting
June 26 open carving

July 3 open carving
July 10 open carving
July 17 open carving and meeting
July 24 open carving
July 31 open carving


Classes at the Woodcraft Shop

Carving Caricatures with Floyd Rhadigan. 60 different roughouts to choose from. March 8, 9, 10, 2019. Friday to Sunday: $185 (plus roughouts: $15 to $55)

Carving Realistic Human Faces in Bark with Alec Lacasse. Friday to Sunday: May 10, 11, and 12, 2019 - $174 plus $25 material fee

Medium Relief Woodcarving with John Engler. Friday to Sunday: May 24, 25 and 26, 2019 - $185 (pre-stenciled blanks are $35+)

The Woodcraft Shop, 2724 State Street, Bettendorf, IA 52722
For more information call toll-free 800-397-2278 or go to


Mid-Wisconsin Chippers Annual woodcarving

The Mid-Wisconsin Chippers Annual woodcarving show is moving to the Oshkosh Convention Center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin this coming spring.  Our show date is Sunday May 5th, and our table fees will go up soon on January 1st.  The 2019 show is moving to a great venue that is about a 3 hour drive from Rockford with plenty of parking, a food concession, wood and tool vendors and we already have 33 tables registered.
A club table is only $25 ($30 after January 1st), and entitles six of your club members to have one entry each in the competition for judging.  A regular single artist table is also only $25 ($30 after January 1st), but entitles that artist to 4 entries for judging. 
This year with our move to Oshkosh, we hope to see some BlackHawk carvers here promoting their club and bringing their art to Oshkosh.  Our Show theme is "Everything you need to get started and grow in Woodcarving." We always have many pyrographers too.  Attached is our 2019 Table Registration form and our form for Judging Rules and Show Guidelines as well as a summary of show info.  
In addition, our club is sponsoring five upcoming classes. are in our December newsletter on our website with sign up forms and other information.   Betsy Popp will have a six day class on the Pygmy Owl (Feb. 28, March 1,2, 7,8, and 9).  Lee Belanger will teach a cottonwood bark carving class on a lighthouse (March 14, and 15).  One of your own, Denny Neubauer, of Denny Knife fame, will teach three classes: knife making on May 6th, Sharpening on May 7th, and carving "Little people" on May 8th. Please spread the word to your club and if anyone has any questions they should feel free to call me or send me an e-mail.
Cedric Richeson, Secretary Mid-Wis. Chippers Woodcarving Club. e-mail: tel. 920) 420-1225

Deadline for the news for the next newsletter is April 3, 2019


cakeApril Birthdays (that we Know of)

9   Larry Clark                10  Franklin Johnson
19  John Skaggs             21  Bunny Nordheim
25  Marjorie Simonds



Like us on Facebook “Blackhawk Woodcarvers”.  Many pictures and information.

Door Prizes

Don't forget the Door Prize drawing on First Wednesdays. Bring something you don't need or want anymore, but know someone would be thrilled to win at the drawing.

Want to buy or sell

If you have anything that you would like to buy or sell send me an email and I will put it in the newsletter.   Gordy

Passed Treasured Carvings

At our monthly meetings members are encouraged to bring in SHOW and TELL items along with carvings that are tucked away from the past.  Even though you might be tired of looking at them, they may be teaching tools for others. Dust them off, bring them in!

Blackhawk Carving Club Minutes February 2019

Minutes of the regular monthly business meeting of Blackhawk Woodcarvers; held on February 20, 2019 at 3218 Eleventh Street, Rockford, Illinois.

President Tyrone Johnsen opened the meeting at 1:20 pm.

Secretary, Steve Terrill read the Minutes of the previous meeting December 19th.. The minutes were approved as read. 

Our new treasurer, Larry Stenzel reported that we are solvent. If you need checks, see Larry.

Membership:  Chuck Drewes was absent.  He did report to Tyrone that dues continue to trickle in.  We continue to pursue a picture directory as the last one was 2016.  The first step it to get quotes for cost. 

Gordy Moscinski had nothing new to report on our website or on the newsletter. 

Tyrone is concerned with the Facebook because people are assuming they can send messages to him on messenger, but Tyrone really does not have enough room on his phone to receive and store those messages.  He did recently receive a message from someone who would carve him an urn with an angel on the top.  If anyone is interested contact Tyrone.

Old Business:  there was none.

New Business:  Roger Benedict is interested in giving a presentation on the Rockford furniture industry at the next business meeting.  It will be a pictorial presentation. 

Tyrone is interested in the carved quilt the club did at Klehm Arboretum and the one at the Center For Sight and Hearing out on State St.  Tyrone would like to see us do another one.  He has talked with Roger about themes.  Roger Benedict was interested in the furniture industry and has done lots of research into that.  John Skaggs has more information that he would like to share with Roger. 

Tyrone wanted to recap what lead us to the change in time for the meeting.  He did write a summary in the Newsletter.  While the Sacred Heart school moved out but still owns the building, the management of the building has reverted back to Ken Rock Community Center.  Ken Rock cannot afford the personnel to man the morning as they have only afternoon activities.  Changing the time seemed to be a good short term solution to the problem.  Tony asked if we could revert back to mornings in the summer.  Tyrone is reluctant to keep changing the time.  Steve suggested that this may be a discussion for the future when more people are in attendance.  Tyrone suggested we may want to revisit the concept of moving in the future.  People are encouraged to explore options for moving to another location if they have one to suggest that meets out needs. 

There was no further new business.   The meeting was adjourned at 1:50 pm. 

Respectfully Submitted: Steve Terrill, Club Secretary

After the meeting Dave Bock, a friend of Tony’s gave a presentation on new ways to transfer designs for relief carvings. 

 Club Officers     (815 area code)

President,  Tyrone Johnsen, 397-9274
Vice Pres,  Louis Jurisch, 568-7096
Treasurer,  Larry Stenzel, 389-4714
Secretary,  Steve Terrill, 708-0471

 Committees   (815 area code)
Photographer - Larry Clark, 262-9982
- Chuck Drewes, 985-8575
Librarian -
Bernie Budz
Webmaster and  Newsletter Editor- Gordy Moscinski, 874-7978
Newsletter Publisher, Gary Johnson 399-1697
Historian - Elaine Terrell 765-2886
Programs -
Tyrone Johnsen, 397-9274
Picnic -
Tony Devita

Speaker Mite Bock making large templates


After the meeting Mike Bock, a friend of Tony gave an interesting presentation on new ways to transfer designs for relief carvings.
He can make a large template for a fee.

Mike Bock
14 Hawthorne
Fox Lake, IL 60020


wd chp 1


Can you figure out the owners of these license plates?


Unique Wood Carving by Micky Miller


Chuck Drewes grew up with a father who was a wood worker.  He admired his father’s reverence for wood.  Chuck began carving and is a member of the Blackhawk Wood Carvers.  When Chuck’s wife started knitting, she asked him to make her shawl clasps.  That is how it all began.  Chuck started using hard wood such as; walnut, sassafras, mulberry, cherry, purple heart, mahogany, and spalted (a form of decay) woods like boxelder and maple. After choosing a design or shape, the tools he uses are; drill press, band saw, small lathe, scroll saw, and sander.  Chuck designs and makes shawl/scarf pins and sells beautifully-detailed wooden buttons that his father created many years ago.  He customizes the large unique buttons and makes them into pins if requested. 

Chuck said that a customer who bought a carved button his dad had made asked him to make it into a pendant. Every so often Chuck comes to CLR when the Nimble Fingers class meets to share his talents.  He visited before Christmas and his most recent visit was on February 19.  It is a great opportunity to see his beautifully-made clasps, pins, buttons, and pendants that are also available for purchase. Chuck is a veteran and served in the Navy as a bomber pilot. He used to fly bombers that carried nuclear bombs during the Cold War in the mid 1950’s.   He has presented some interesting aviation-based classes for CLR.  I’m sure Chuck would agree that wood carving is much more relaxing than piloting a bomber plane.

CLR newsletter


Show and Tell pictures by Gordy Moscinski comments by Steve Terrill

gun rack

Tony DeVita showed a relief carving on a gun rack that he had carved but thinks he will send it to his son in Florida to display his giant spoons.


Steve Terrill showed a picture of his finished cuboctagon with a ball inside that he carved for his son in Chicago.  The lattice in the form of a 14 sided figure was stained with raw Sienna oil paint in Watco Danish Oil with a final coat of minwax wipe on poly.  The ball is unstained to contrast the lattice. 


John Skaggs showed a carved “present” box for his wife for Valentines day.  It has a miniature bottle of wine inside.

 brown trout

black widow spider






fishing flys

fishing fly

A very prolific Larry Stenzel showed his latest woodburnings.  He had a slice of tree with a hungry looking brown trout which is shellacked.  He had 8 other woodburnings in frames of cedar with his mixture of vinegar in oil which acts as a stain.  They included a black widow spider, a colored cardinal, a pelican in flight, a colored Koi, a Maple leaf in oranges and yellows, a feather from a black duck colored in blue, and two fishing flies also colored.  He used water based brush ink pens for his coloration.  


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